Yeezus and Magna Carta, Holy Grail.
Magna Carta, Holy Grail and Yeezus.
Sometimes we stumble into vacuums. Politics, movies, sports, music. Vacuums can be dangerous because they cloud our vision. They demolish rational thought.
While their respected new albums are good by all accounts, it seems like Kanye and Jay Z have co-opted the conversation when it comes to hip hop. Wale, Mac Miller, J.Cole have all been reduced to after thoughts as we have meandering debates about which album is better- MCHG or Yeezus.
Guess what- both are good. Solidly good. Drastically different and solidly good.
Case closed. We need to move on.
So with that being said, I thought a list of 10 hip hop albums I’d rather listen to besides MCHG and Yeezus would be useful.
A Tribe Called Quest The Low End Theory
A classic. Perfect for almost any situation and an album almost every human in the world likes. I feel like white kids trying to form hip hop bands have been striving for the sound of The Low End Theory for years. They should just give up. Especially if they don’t have an upright bass.
Gang Starr Moment of Truth
Hey, another classic. I love Guru’s flow. Just a dynamic hip hop album. Everyone should read A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius and everyone should listen to Moment of Truth.
Atmosphere God Loves Ugly
I love pretty much everything Atmosphere does, so I give this one the nod because it’s one of his first albums and the album that made me a fan. Slug has a fire inside of him that few emcees have.
The Roots Rising Down
Picking a favorite Roots’ album is like picking my favorite HBO character (shameless plug.) There are no losers, only winners. Love this album because of these songs: “Rising Down,” “Criminal,” “I Will Not Apologize,” and “I Can’t Help It.” How I Got Over, Things Fall Apart, or Game Theory could all be on this list.
De La Soul De La Soul is Dead
Seeing this dudes at the Roots’ Picnic last summer made me a believer. I was always a fan, but their set made me a believer. I will literally get in a fist fight with someone who dared hate on De La Soul. And I’m a pacifist.
Jurassic 5 Quality Control
Their debut EP will always have a place close to my heart, but I love this album. It’s true that their style got a little old after a while, but you can’t knock the freshness on this album.
This is simple. The Black Keys + Mos Def, RZA, Q Tip = straight cash homey.
The Beastie Boys Ill Communication
Like the Roots, damn near impossible to pick a favorite album. Check Your Head or Hot Sauce Committee, Pt 2 are right up there. Flat out, the Beastie Boys always did two things- sound cooler than everyone else and sound like they were having more fun than everyone else.
I don’t want Outkast to get back together. Not anymore. I’m fine with the work they did and don’t want it tarnished. Old Outkast belongs in a museum.
Ohmega Watts Watts Happening
This album makes me miss small, local record stores. I used to go to one in South Philly and get recommendations from Adam, the guy who owned it. He turned me on to Ohmega Watts, as well as guys like JDilla and Little Brother. I’m not even sure if Watts puts out albums anymore. I wish he would. Love his flow, love the beats, love this album.